Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 13th sec match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima

It turned into a dismal afternoon for us. The load put on us from our last match took a big tall on us. I feel that I didn’t assess the physical exhaustion of our players well enough. I selected today’s members based on the notion that all players had been fully recovered given there were four days since the last match. However, things were unfortunately different in reality. In addition, the sudden change in temperatures may have had some negative effect on our players as well.

There are several elements to explain our defeat. However, the biggest reason was the level of our opponent. I think our opponent team played the match well deserving their victory today.

Questions and Answers

Q: During the press conference held the day before yesterday, you were talking about Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s strong points. At that time, I believe you were probably concerned about Kashiwagi. As it turned out, your opponent team used the space created behind effectively. Was there any connection between how the team prepared themselves and how they played the match today?

A: I feel that Moriwaki getting injured at the beginning of the match had some impact on how we played the match today. When playing soccer, things do not always go as you wish.

Q: Sanfrecce Hiroshima came from the front of your team after one minute into the match and formed a perfect block just after two minutes into the match. I thought they had a clear tactical vision to score goals from counter attacks or set pieces. I observed the match thinking that Sanfrecce must have had a good image of how Urawa Reds would wage their attacks and the opponent players were confident that they could defend themselves well.
As a result, they had managed to score several goals from counter attacks. What do you think of this?

A: I think what you say is right. I observed the match in the same way. However, that was something I had expected and we had been able to play well against those players several times in the past. For this reason, I feel the exhaustion from our previous match was the biggest reason for how we played today.

Unfortunately, we were not able to proceed in the match according to our game plan today. There were times when we played positively under a similar circumstance.

Q: After the score margin got that wide, it must have become difficult for the players to pick themselves up again. I guess it may be fair to say that your players got bogged down as a result. But, I trust you had experienced this type of situation countless times in the past.

A: That is right. I think it became difficult for our players to play confidently as a result of losing some goals. At the same time, I can imagine that our opponent team’s confidence was boosted and that had a positive impact on their performance.

I think we had a similar situation when we played our last match against Beijing Sinobo Guoan. During that match, we tried to hold ourselves well not to lose any goals and after we scored a few goals, the opponent team were put under the pressure to come forward. As a result, we had managed to utilize the space created behind our opponent players to score more goals. In addition, most of the Beijing Sinobo Guoan players were playing in their national league match leading up to the ACL match and came to play the match against us. However, our players were fresh when they played against them.

Q: As a result of Kashiwagi not playing in today’s match, mid-fielders seemed to have struggled to wage attacks a few times today. I am afraid that there were not many off the ball movements from the second line today.

A: First of all, what you commented about Kashiwagi was true. He is an irreplaceable player who has a very unique skill set. As a result of having him away due to an injury, we lost his special characteristics from the team.

As for our team’s movements, we had good movements and created a few opportunities during the first half of the match. However, the movements became less active and our performance started to suffer during the second half of the match. For this reason, I changed a few players. However, we could not execute our interlocking plays as well as we did during training and our performance started to suffer as time went by.

Q: As a result of today’s defeat, the team lost four consecutive J. League matches in a row which was the first time in the past 10 years. I trust that the team is now in a very hard situation. To overcome this challenge, how do you think you would rebuild your team including their mental aspect?

A: All we have to do is to continue our training. Over my career, I have experienced winning five times in a row after losing five times consecutively and won the title in the end. When playing soccer, we must put members together for a match and the team develops and evolves accordingly. As a result, a team loses and wins over the course of the season.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima